tv [untitled] March 30, 2012 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
say and what they do tend to be quite divergent. in the meantime, we are consulting with our partners in the region. we are working to underscore that it would be wise for the north koreans not to pursue this announced intent to launch a satellite. >> thank you. mr. austria. >> thank you, madam chairman. excuse me. ambassador, thank you for being here. i appreciate it very much. i have three questions i want to ask all three and -- >> i'll try my best. >> i feel it's important to bring up on unesco, and i think it's been pointed out that -- international recognition. successful with unesco. but i think that, you know, the position i think that many of us
are looking at is that the immediate halt in the u.s. funding sent a powerful message to all other u.n. bodies as well as the palestinians that the u.s. is serious about its intent for negotiated peace. i agree with you unesco does good work. the concern is that resuming that funding at this time would send the wrong message to the palestinians at this particular time. and i appreciate your willingness to work with this committee in trying to come up with how to deal with a waiver -- thank you. sorry. >> i could hear you. >> okay. as long as you were able to hear me. a waiver in which the president has put in his budget and which you've described because i think it's important, again, sending that message right now is a concern we have with the unesco. let me also -- and this is kind of jumping over to israel. while we greatly appreciate, and i personally appreciate your
ongoing efforts to defend israel at the united nations, nonetheless, i think israel continues to be singled out constantly well beyond any sense prove portion. and israel seems to be treated differently at the u.n. than any other country. and let me zero in on two areas. because of the strong u.s. leadership israel was granted a seat in the western europe and others group, w.e.o.g., in new york. and for that effort i thank you. we appreciate that. but unfortunately, israel was not a member of the w.e.o.g. in geneva, and therefore is effectively banned from many if not most u.n. organizations and agencies. my question is what is the u.s. doing to ensure that israel is granted full membership rights throughout the u.n. system? and then if there's time if you can give us a briefing on hezbollah rearming and what's going on in that part of the region. >> i'm sorry. i didn't hear -- >> what can be done with hezbollah and what the u.n. and
the u.s. is doing to help prevent the flow of arms going that direction because it seems as though there's been a blind eye, so to speak, with the flow of arms toward hezbollah. and if you could clarify that, i'd appreciate that very much. >> okay. thank you. let me begin by coming back to unesco. >> yes. >> we need to ensure that the legislative and policy tools that we have and use meet the desired effect and hit their intended target. the intended target is in this instance not unesco the programs. not the united states vote and leadership, which has already frankly suffered in unesco as a result of our withholding of funding. and we've created a void in which china and qatar and others
have come behind us with money to fund programs that we were funding, filling the gap and turning them in a direction that serves their interests. the target is to change the palestinians' calculation. and the palestinians aren't frankly dissuaded by something that doesn't impact them. in a way, if we wanted to be really cynical, if you're the palestinians you get membership and you get a diminished u.s. role in an organization where we're otherwise there, present, standing up for our interests, defending israel, and doing things that we think is important. so the legislation is in effect inadvertently a two-fer for that course of action. >> but would you agree that when we halted that u.s. funding it sent a powerful message to the palestinians as well? >> the message to the palestinians was not stop your march through the u.n. agencies. the message to the palestinians unfortunately, and i realize this is not the intent, was if
you get into these u.n. agencies not only do they get a vote but we get diminished influence. so i don't believe that it is working in the way it was intended. i don't believe it is deterring the palestinians or frankly other member states from making a decision that they base on a broader range of policy issues and their own calculations of national interests. it is only having the unfortunate and unintended consequence of dealing us out of organizations in which we have an important interest. and that's why the administration is of the view that we need to relook at this, we need to ensure that we are using the tools at our disposal in a targeted way at the intended target. and that's the difference between the 1990 and 1994 legislation that is problematic and what's done in the context of the legislation you that all adopted at the end of last year. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. thank you for your service. i always admire people who are willing to serve our country.
and you obviously are doing that. so we thank you for that. i will, however, tell you, and i mean this with the greatest respect, that my jaw has been consistently dropping today as i've heard some statements. you mentioned, for example, circumstances when we discredit the u.n. do you not understand that we discredit ourselves when we don't follow up on our commitments? for example, you also mentioned that the determinates -- that unesco knew about what the policy was of the united states and yet they still voted how they voted in the case of israel, so therefore we should in essence get rid of that deterrent. again, should we not -- does it not hurt our national interest, do you not see it, how it hurts our national interests when we back away from our pre-existing stated positions, when they violate those positions and we
just walk away from them and look for other alternatives? you don't think that discredits our credibility? >> first of all, what we would be reversing is legislation that was enacted -- >> our position. >> -- many years ago in a very different time in very different circumstances. legislation refers to the plo, which no longer is relevant.the goal is not one we share and want to pursue, which is to deter and dissuade the palestinians from making a further march -- >> and unesco. and deterring unesco as well. and the u.n. and the world health -- world health organization and others as well. >> but let's be clear what it means to deter unesco and the world health organization. it's not deterring a body sitting in geneva. it's deterring the decisions of 192 other member states. individually. and there is not one single blunt instrument that has that cumulative effect.
it just doesn't work that way. >> so therefore, we disregard our policy? >> no, what we do -- >> that's your approach? >> -- is devise policies that serve our interests. we don't stick to policies that are many years old that are no longer working as intended and are in fact self-defeating. instead, we customize the tools for the time. i think your legislation, adopted in december, did that. and that puts pressure and targeted pressure on the palestinians. we can sit here and talk, and i'm happy to do, about what do we do about the other 192 u.n. member states and how do we influence their decisions on this. that's what we do every day in terms of our diplomacy. but that's not the same as shooting a single scattershot at an institution like the world health organization or like
unesco, which is an aggregation of programs and activities that serve our interests. >> madam ambassador, that's assuming that there are no other alternatives in this world. and there are other alternatives. in other words, i firmly believe that this attitude, whether it was the reset attitude with russia months after they have invaded our ally georgia -- and by the way, that has proven to be a dismal disaster. whether it's in the russians' attitude toward georgia, toward syria, to the u.n. dismal disaster. and i just have to quote even one of your tweets regarding that russian vote in the u.n. where you were pretty offended, and i think rightfully so. that was after the reset. now, as opposed to on the contrary not just stepping up pressure to unesco because of their attitude toward israel -- by the way, this is the same unesco that recently voted in their human rights committee to keep -- to keep syria in it. as opposed to stepping up pressure. now we're going to back up and
back off from a pre-existing position of the united states. and that position has been -- and i will tell you, and i agree with it, that we're going to stand up for israel. we're going to stand up against organizations who have an anti-israeli tendency, whether it's unesco, whether it's the u.n., whether it's anybody else, and it seems that this administration consistently is backing down, backing up, and unfortunately, madam ambassador, the results, which is what matter, have been dismal. whether it's the reset with russia. whether it's their attitude. whether it's china. whether it's north korea now, by the way, which was mentioned. and clearly with israel, even though there are statements made, but statements don't make results saying, you know, how strong this administration is standing up for israel. the reality is that the facts do not bear that out. and i think it's frankly putting us at great risk and putting our allies at great risk. >> well, if i have time still to
respond -- >> you do. >> -- i'd like to say, first of all, i completely reject the notion that this administration is not every day all day standing up for our ally israel in terms of the strongest security relationship this country has ever had, in terms of day in and day out what we do in the united nations and all of its agencies to defend and promote israel, including its inclusion in additional groups. we have managed to work to get israel included in groups that it was excluded from in new york and geneva over the course of the last three years. the juice cans group for the fifth committee, for the second committee, for various things. with u.s. support israel has been able to join the boards of unicef and undp for the first time. with u.s. support israel is playing a much more prominent role throughout the united nations system. and it has been very generous in crediting u.s. assistance and
support in helping it get to that place. i will not take a seat -- a back seat to anybody on u.s. support for and defense of israel in the united nations. and when it comes to unesco, look only at what israel is doing in its own interests. it is still voluntarily funding programs that it thinks are important. while we are not. >> ambassador, i have one question. we'll make another round, but you'll need to be concise in this to get to everyone. we're hearing reports that iraq may be facilitating arms shipments to syria to support the opposition, and so it's very disheartening. i would say what is the u.n. doing to investigate those allegations? and if they're found to be true and iraq really is in violation of its international obligations, what steps can we expect the u.n. to take? >> thank you, madam chairwoman. we have also heard such reports. they are of concern.
we are certainly working assiduously to -- in communication with the iraqis and others to ensure that any shipments are not -- that they undertake their obligations to ensure that any shipments that may be transiting their territory are not in violation of u.n. sanctions. they would be violating are the iran sanctions. do prevent weapons going beyond its borders. the united nations has a robust effort to monitor and enforce existing sanctions, especially against iran. we will review those sanctions as we do quarterly again tomorrow in the security council. and we -- that sanctions committee has a panel of experts that investigates and reports on violations of all sorts. so for example, the iranians
were caught violating the sanctions regime with a weapons shipment that was discovered in west africa over a year ago. so we encourage first of all reporting, investigation, and accountability and certainly this is an issue that we are watching very carefully and trying to ensure that iraq is meeting its international obligations. >> thank you. mrs. loewy. >> thank you again for your service. and i just want to applaud the administration's decision, which was greeted with some opposition during the last few years, to become a member of the human rights council again. and we've seen in the last few days the impact of that decision on policies regarding israel. certainly i'm just seeing in the news u.n. cancels hamas official visit to human rights council after israeli complaint. ishmael al ashkar was scheduled
to appear before the u.n.'s human rights council in geneva. israeli ambassador says al ashkar advocating violence against israel. if we had not been part of that council, again, which many people objected to, we wouldn't have been able to have taken that action. also u.s. -- in another news report, u.s. ambassador to the u.n. -- human rights council eileen chamberlain donna who said, took a strong position, and she made the statement, "the united states on monday urged the united nations human rights council in geneva to stop its biased treatment of israel." it took particularly issue with agenda item 7 on which -- and i complaining about. and she said the united states continues to be deeply troubled by the council's bias and disproportionate focus on
israel, as exemplified by the standing agenda item. i the united states became part of this council, and i want to applaud the secretary of state and yourself for taking that position. but i want to reference one other issue, and that is women and michel bachelet and what we're doing with the u.n. efforts to address women's concerns. i've fought my entire life, as you have i know, to raise the status of women. and we see, and i've heard the secretary of state say this many times, in countries where women are in positions of power there are much more peaceful situations. in most countries. >> in this committee. >> and in this committee. that's right.
we may be the only bipartisan committee around here. but that's what happens when women are in charge. well, we'll let that go. let me just say, i am very concerned about potential cuts in the operation of u.n. women as it moves forward with its work. president obama requested 7.9 million for u.n. women for fy 2013. i'm hoping that number stands or increases. could you share with us how that funding will be used? and does it include a contribution for the u.n. trust fund to end violence against women? i am so interested in the work of this committee. i can remember visiting kenya with secretary of state clinton. and as we visited the micro enterprise projects, which were really important to the individual communities,
nurturing families in the entire village, some of the men with all due respect to the good men on this committee who are in positions of power, whether they're a councilman or a governor, would come by and collect their share. so after these important investments in these micro enterprise programs there was very little left for the women who shared their resources with the entire village. so if you could just tell us about this program, what do you expect, is the money enough? how will it be used? thank you. >> thank you very much. let me try to do this quickly. first of all, i appreciate your comments on the decision to join the human rights council. i share your view. it has benefited u.s. interests and advanced u.s. values. we remain outraged and appalled by the continuation of agenda item 7, which is the serial bashing of israel at the human rights council. we continue to fight against it. and you heard ambassador donahue's statement yesterday.
and we'll be doing that throughout the duration of the week. but let's look at what has been accomplished under u.s. leadership. for the first time ever a special rapporteur on iran. several strong resolutions on syria including the establishment of a commission of inquiry that has revealed so much about assad's abuses. kicking libya out in a special session. and there too an important commission of inquiry that has shed the light on gadhafi-era abuses. important resolutions on sudan, burma, north korea, democratic republic of congo, et cetera. a new rapporteur for the first time on freedom of assembly and association. and a working group of experts to prevent discrimination against women. among many other positive steps. with respect to u.n. women, let me say we very much strongly supported the establishment of u.n. women. we supported its growth and development.
the challenge now is for it to become a presence in the field and provide tangible support to women on the ground. our resources, our 7.9 in the request, is meant for the core budget to do just that, to help it establish programs in the th establish programs in the field. we think that's the most important step that we can take in this early time. it doesn't include money for the violence against women trust fund, although we recognize that that's an issue of importance to this committee and congress and a goal we very much share. we've been leading on a whole pan plea of women's issues at the united nations and it's been an honor to do so. we just passed a resolution with huge support on maternal mortality at the commission on the status of women and we championed in the general assembly last fall a resolution on women's political participation. i could go on and on, but let me just say that what we have been able to do to support women at the united nations has been a source of great pride for secretary clinton and for me as well. >> thank you. mr. dent.
>> thank you, madam ambassador. you mentioned the north korean situation. three weeks ago secretary clinton came before this subcommittee and discussed the fact that the north koreans were going to implement a moratorium on future launches and other nuclear-related issues. and then, of course, said we're going to judge them by our actions not by their words. last week the north koreans announced their intention to conduct another missile launch, which i guess the state department said directly violates various u.n. security council resolutions, 17, 18 -- 1718 and 1874. what actions should the u.n. and other organizations take if north korea launches a missile as they have promised in the next few weeks? what should we do? >> well, in our view if north korea in violation of its existing obligations under the
two resolutions you cited, in violation of its commitment made in the february 29th agreement, goes ahead with this satellite launch, it would be a very grave situation, a very grave provocation, and we would aim for and expect very strong response from the security council. >> thank you, madam chairman. dr. rice, thank you again for standing up so strongly for the united states' interests at the u.n. your leadership has been outstanding. you are here, after all, to ask for the president's budget for the u.n. what in your view are the major issues that relate to u.s. national security interests that are served by our membership at the u.n. and the funding that you seek, and what -- i know the administration, the obama administration has been involved
in u.n. reform efforts. so those two aspects, what are the national security interests of the u.s.'s continued involvement at the u.n.? and what reforms are still needed? >> thank you very much. there are so many ways in which the dollars we spend and the programs they support at the united nations advance u.s. national security interests. let's begin with one of the largest elements of our request, which is funds for international peacekeeping operations. the u.n. is present in some 14 countries and engaged in important life-saving missions to protect civilians in places like darfur and the democratic republic of congo. to help build the capacity of fragile states in which we have an interest in their success in places like south sudan and haiti and liberia. it is keeping the peace in
fragile places from the golon to kotivore. these are places where we have an interest in security and stability, in protection of civilians, in helping to foment and stabilize fragile democracy. if the united states were to try to support this on our own rather than at a relatively better deal of burden-sharing of 27%, the cost to us would be enormous. or were we to leave these situations to fester, without the benefit of international peace-keeping presence, we would be suffering the longer term consequences, as these places unravel and we have seen what that looks like in various parts of the world, for example at different times over history in haiti. so it is a cost-effective way to share the burden of peace and
security in a manner that serves our interests. we've talked a lot about sanctions this morning. iran and north korea are among the many sanction regimes which the u.n. supports, but they don't just vote the resolutions, they actually monitor their implementation and build the capacity of member states to enforce their sanctions and that is another thing that our money goes to. in afghanistan and iraq where the united nations, now libya, has a very important political mission as opposed to peace-keeping missions. they're building democratic capacity. they're assisting the governments. they are coordinating donor assistance, they are helping refugees. they are doing a wide range of functions that support our military missions now in afghanistan, formerly in iraq and help ease the transition as our personnel withdraw. the humanitarian work of unicef, of the world food program, the development work of undp, the health surveillance work of the
world health organization: iaea which is crucial in monitoring the nuclear program in iran, all of these are critical programs. i could go on all morning but i won't. you get the point. with respect to u.n. reform, we have made very important progress over the last few years in terms of improving transparency. i've talked briefly in my testimony in my written testimony longer about increasing access to audits. bolstering the u.n.'s investigative arm and its oversight arm, the oios. we have actually, as i mentioned, succeeded in garnering savings when that historically has been all but impossible. usually u.n. budgets go up 5% a year. we managed in december to get it to go down 5%, whiy 10% over what we would have otherwise ended up with.
so we are working on efficiency, we are working on effectiveness, we are working on transparency and also working to promote the principle that countries that by their behavior are irreprehensible don't deserve to be in positions of leadership and responsibility. and it's been our efforts that have yielded success, for example, behind the scenes. we were able to work to ensure that iran was not elected, as it was supposed to be, to the boar first year. they were going to get on there simply through a clean slate of a regional subgrouping of the u.n. so we are working in ways that you may not even read about to try to ensure that excellence and integrity is part of not just the u.n.'s founding values but the way it acts on a daily basis. obviously there's a long way to
go. >> thank you very much. mr. austria. >> thank you, madam chairman. let me follow up on the sanctions. i know a lot has been said but in particular iran, you've talked about enforcing the sanctions and how important that is. it's been more than 20 months since the passage of u.n. security council resolution 1929. for those 20 months, iran has continued to ignore the demands of the security council and the iaea. earlier you mentioned that we've increased pressure on iran successfully and that they're feeling this pressure. you also mentioned that the security council i think tomorrow will assess -- >> quarterly review. >> quarterly review. you know, we're hearing reports that the security council may be divided on, you know, additional sanctions against iran. you know, what's your thoughts on that? and what are you doing, if anything -- or what can be done, if anything, at the u.n. to
raise pressure on iran? or you mentioned taking the next step as far as putting more pressure on iran. can you help the committee understand what you mean by that? >> well, in the wake of the passage of 1929, which raised substantially the baseline of global sanctions against iran, we, the united states, our european partners and a number of other countries, japan, south korea, some of the gulf countries, canada, australia and others implemented additional sanctions using 1929 as a legal foundation but raising the national bar for each of these countries even higher. the cumulative effect of those decisions as well as what we have seen most recently with respect to the central bank of iran sanctions, the eu decision to embargo oil that we were discussing earlier with respect to swift has been that the global pressure on iran is mounting